Joseph Farley

Theater of War

The first mistake was to believe
that things would stay the same.
The second was to think
that things would change.

In between scenes the players
try on new costumes
and practice new words.

Masks and makeup
can alter features,
but underneath 
the characters are the same,

archetypes of politics,
power and murder.
All wars, little and big,
are fought with the same armies.

And the dead? Well,
they’ve said their lines
and moved on to other plays
on other stages,

still waiting 
for the applause
and curtain calls
that never seem to come.

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